Nationwide Insurance, NASCAR drivers, encourage students to stop driving distracted
Many motorists texting while driving
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2009
Gayle Saunders 614-203-4772
Charlotte, NC — Today, Nationwide Insurance teamed up with Johnson C. Smith University, NASCAR star Kyle Petty, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne and NASCAR's Drive for Diversity driver Michael Cherry, to raise awareness about DWD – Driving While Distracted.
A new Nationwide Insurance On Your Side survey revealed some startling cell phone driving statistics. The survey found that 8 in 10 Americans surveyed say they would support legislation restricting cell phone use while driving. The survey reports that 80 percent of Americans favor a ban on texting while driving, while two thirds favor a ban on cell phone calls and more than half say they would support a ban on cell phone use altogether.
"Drivers today are faced with more distractions than ever before, and diverting their attention away from the road with cell phone calls and text messages creates a very dangerous situation," said Kyle Petty. "It is important to learn about the risks associated with distracted driving. If we can raise awareness on this particular subject, I believe we can save lives."
Nationwide Insurance brought the NASCAR drivers to Johnson C. Smith University as part of an education campaign to spread the message of dangers of driving while distracted. Students saw firsthand the impact text messaging has on their driving abilities while racing in a NASCAR simulator.
"It doesn’t matter if you’re going 45 miles per hour on the street or 125 miles per hour in a race car," said Michael Cherry. "Driving while distracted poses risks to everyone and it’s important for drivers to see first-hand how big an impact distractions can have on their driving abilities."
Nationwide is committed to helping customers protect what matters most and that is why the company recently stated its support of the concept of a national ban on texting while driving. In addition to saving lives, fewer DWD related crashes could also result in lower insurance costs for consumers.
"Johnson C. Smith University is proud to partner in this educational venture," said Benny L. Smith, Director of Public Relations at Johnson C. Smith University. "Any opportunity we have to share beneficial information with our students, especially with regards to driving safely, is a top priority."
"DWD impacts all of us in one form or another and Nationwide will continue to raise public awareness about this important issue," said Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s Chief Safety Officer. "By working closely with legislators, public safety officials and other key stakeholders we can arrive at real-world solutions to this problem and help make the roads a safer place."
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